Wynton Marsalis and his Horn

If you google “who is the best trumpet player in the world?” the name Wynton Marsalis makes a very healthy appearance on the page. It took me about 30 seconds to respond to the email from the little traveller’s school, Wynton was coming to Doha and had agreed to give a short performance in the High School theatre.

We were in.

There was only one thing that was cooler than seeing Wynton that day. It was the look on both of the music teachers faces when they introduced him and watched him play. The more senior of the music teachers, a gentle man who does an incredible job of encouraging and supporting a group of spotty band members, stood beaming in front of a microphone in the middle of the stage.

“I never thought I’d be introducing Wynton Marsalis” I found myself grinning, mirroring his face. I’m guessing it may have been a career highlight.

G and I were blown away by the performance. Wynton told stories from his childhood, he talked of New Orleans, he had us singing. And with carefully chosen words that somehow managed to sit in the air while you digested them slowly, he inspired you to dedicate yourself to something. This was a man who had played for presidents, but when asked for a career highlight spoke with genuine pleasure of watching a high school band practice.

It was a beautiful afternoon, which is why it’s so amazing that I have now turned the name Wynton Marsalis into a cringeworthy, no-one say that name, moment.

Wynton came back last week. He played at the St Regis and the first little traveller told us that her music teacher was lucky enough to go along. We were sitting at the dinner table when she made a comment that was perfectly innocent – but it was just too hard for me to keep a straight face.

“Mr K said that Wynton Marsalis let him hold his horn”

I froze.

The giggle was just there. G looked in my direction, smirking, but doing a much better job of containing himself.

“What’s so funny Mum?”

“Nothing – I was just thinking of something funny that happened today”

“Mr K is a very lucky man, not everyone gets to hold Wynton Marsalis’ horn” I had to leave the room.

Now if the story ended there, it would be fine – but in typical Kirsty let-me-share-this-inappropriate-story-with-you style, it doesn’t.

I saw Mr K in the corridor the other day, and in a brief moment of madness (and on reflection, possibly looking like a crazy woman) decided to share my hysterically funny story.

“And then she said Mr K got to hold Wynton Marsalis’ horn!”

“Yes I did” said a deadpan Mr K “it was great”

I should have left it there. But oh no, I had to explain the hysterically funny joke.

“It was really hard to keep a straight face”

Mr K looked confused for a moment, and then the penny dropped.

“Oh”

He was never going to see me in the same light again.

“You’re dirty” he said with a mixture of surprise and, well I’m not sure, was it a smirk or was it just pure horror?

Thankfully he smiled (as he backed away slowly from the crazy woman), but I’m sure I’ve just become THAT mother.

It’s a gift. Anyone else got it? The inappropriate storyteller gift?

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